Finding out which hunting stand is best for your specific needs is pretty important.
Ask any regular stand hunter, and they'll agree that you can't just walk into an outdoor store, grab the first stand you see, and expect it to be perfect for your style and needs. The range of hunting terrain, location, conditions and game will call for an extensive amount of consideration before you drop money on a stand you hope to be successful from.
Bottom line, you need to figure out where and when you'll hunt, how you'll approach the area, and how your stand's presence will affect the wildlife around it.
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These simple guidelines, plus some fantastic stand options and accessories from SportsmansGuide.com, will help narrow your focus on stands and blinds that will work for you.
Click through the slideshow to see your options, and let us know if we left anything out in the comments.
The idea of having an easy on, easy off aspect to your treestand, to allow for relocation on the fly, is what appeals to climbing treestand fans. The technological advancements make them safer than ever, and you're not going to have much of a learning curve when it comes to setting it up for the first time.
It might make sense to start with something like the Summit Titan SD Climbing Tree Stand, which is fully adjustable and extremely durable. It will take more trips up and down a tree than your average stand, and the solid bar in front works well as a gun rest.
Find a climbing stand that is foldable and doesn't weigh much more than 35 pounds. If you're the kind of hunter that has a large hunting area to work with, and want to try multiple stand locations throughout the season, the climbing stand option makes the most sense.
The large anti-fatigue foot platform on the Guide Gear® Extreme Deluxe Climber Tree Stand is the kind of feature you should look for. The nylon foot straps keep the stand's platform secured to your boots, and makes for a relatively easy climb time after time.
If you've declared a certain spot on your hunting property as the go-to location, or planted food plots you know will be successful, a more permanent ladder stand may be a better choice. They offers some luxuries not found in climbing stands, like roominess and comfort, as well as a generally more secure construction, with less chance of an accident ending a hunt early. They still make use of a tree, so you'll need large sturdy options in the decided area of the ladder stand.
If you are hunting with a buddy, the Sniper® 15' Deluxe 2-man Ladder Stand might be one of the better available options, as it holds a max weight of 500 pounds on it's comfortable two-seat platform.
Best of Both Worlds
Essentially a ladder stand combines what's great about a climbing treestand and what's nice about a stand alone elevated blind.
The Big Game® Nova Tree Stand is a smaller single-person variation, which gets you above the tree line and provides the stability and comfort you'd expect.
Platforms and Elevated Blinds
Moving into some of the more hefty stand and blind options, a platform like the Guide Gear® 10' Hunting Platform can make for a perfectly good base to start creating a customized, DIY elevated blind.
Starting with the purchase of a platform like this will give you a sense of the total cost of a workable stand, as well as the size and location requirements needed. You'll want as level ground as you can manage, and employ inexpensive plywood to establish the remaining pieces of your very own stand.
When you know you'll need to have 360 degrees of vision and mobility, a tripod stand, like the Premium 13' Tripod Stand, may be worth looking into.
They are usually consisted of a bare-minimum set up, but raise you well above a deer's eye level and hopefully high enough to view a possible shot and make it when it counts.
Close It In
When a little more seclusion or protection from the elements is required, you'll want to consider something that actually has walls. Enter a blind like the Formex® 4x4' Snap - Lock Hunting Blind, which is easily set up without tools or crazy equipment.
Combine a blind like this with a platform, and you're well on your way to a great vantage point from which to hunt.
Add another element of success with the SCENTite® Whitetail 2-man Full Door Blind, which features a rugged polyethylene shell that keeps you out of sight and out of nose.
Double Your Fun
Once again, many hunters who don't go solo need a stand that can seat more than one person. This is something important to consider, especially when safety comes into play. You'll want something capable of holding the weight of two or more people, while still offering the lightweight yet sturdy attributes each stand needs.
Something like the Family Tradition Double Tripod Stand will serve most multiple person purposes, but you'll also want to make sure the person who will be sharing your stand knows the safety procedures involved.
Getting Up There
You will obviously need a safe way to enter and exit your stand if it isn't set up with a ladder or it doesn't have climbing abilities, and these Guide Gear® 20' Climbing Sticks are just the ticket.
A 20 foot tall climbing apparatus with safe and sturdy angled steps like this is well worth the investment. It all breaks down to a few 4-foot sections, easy to transport no matter where you're going.
Getting Down from There
Though you wouldn't necessarily ever want to use it, the one-time effectiveness of emergency descent systems should always be on your list of things to consider when making a treestand choice.
The Tree Spider™ Livewire™ Descent System makes things easy should you ever need it, and the strength of the harness and carabiner will allow you to stop worrying about a fall and let you focus on your harvest.
Extra Accessories and Tools
Obviously some of the most common stands can't be bought alone, and require the use of accessories and tools to ensure you're using your stand to its fullest capabilities.
If you look to something like the Ameristep® Ladder Stand Install System, you'll be making a smart decision. Winches and tether straps make the job of hoisting and installing that much easier.
Just because you're in a tree all day doesn't mean you can't award yourself some of the comforts of home.
Remember that things like snack pockets, drink holders, weapon stands and other accessories will make your stand a more enjoyable place to be. And when nature calls but you aren't ready to leave your stand, the HME™ Urination Bottle should do the trick.